Manipur Amit Shah appeals for lifting NH blockades, Cong MLA s house burnt

Imphal, June 4 : Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who was on a four-day visit to ethnic violence hit Manipur last week, on Sunday appealed to the people of the state to lift the blockades from National Highway-2 so that essential items, transport fuel and medicines can be ferried to the state without any troubles. Meanwhile, in a fresh incident of violence, alleged Kuki militants burnt down the residence of sitting Congress MLA and former minister K. Ranjit in Kakching district late on Saturday night. Urging the people to withdraw the road blockade, Shah tweeted: "My sincerest appeal to the people of Manipur is to lift the blockades at the Imphal-Dimapur, NH-2 Highway, so that food, medicines, petrol, diesel, and other necessary items can reach the people. "I also request that Civil Society Organisations do the needful in bringing consensus. Together only we can restore normalcy in this beautiful state." Landlocked Manipur has two vital National Highways -- Imphal-Dimapur (through Nagaland) and Imphal-Jiribam (through southern Assam) - to ferry essentials, food grains, transport fuel, cooking gas, medicines and other materials from different parts of the country. Demanding a separate Kuki land in Manipur, suspected cadres of Kuki militants and their over ground supporters often blockaded the two National Highways, especially the Imphal-Dimapur highways leading to a serious problem of transporting essentials from outside the state. Meanwhile, police officials in Imphal said on Sunday that suspected armed Kuki militants set ablaze the residence of Congress MLA Ranjit at Serou in Kakching district late on Saturday night. Massive combing operations are underway following the attack on the residence of the MLA. The Kuki militants reportedly often attacked the villages inhabited by the people belonging to Meitei communities leading to the villagers completely abandoning the villages and most people were taking shelter at Sugnu, Kakching and other places in Thoubal district. A peace mission team led by Municipal Administration, Housing and Urban Development Minister Y. Khemchandra had been camping in the area since Saturday to help in restoring peace and normalcy. The Army, Assam Rifles, various Central Armed Police Force, state police and Manipur Rifles personnel have continued their vigil and operations in all the 11 trouble-torn districts. Officials said that curfew was relaxed for 7-12 hours in most of the districts, including Imphal West and Imphal East districts. Tamenglong, Noney, Senapati, Ukhrul, and Kamjong districts are not under curfew, currently. Police said that except the Kakching district incident, no major violent incident has been reported in the last 24 hours. /IANS


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